Canada's best-ever judoka has two Olympic medals and a pair of wonky knees. Nicolas Gill, who won 1992 Olympic bronze, first encountered the surgeon's knife in 1997 to fix torn ligaments in his left knee. He rebounded for Olympic silver in 2000. But at a bout last November, Gill, 32, heard the sickening rip of ligaments again--this time in his right knee. Post-surgery, an Olympic berth seemed doubtful.
But Gill hustled to Tokyo in April for intense training. Japan is the home of judo--and his nemesis Kosei Inoue, 26, a three-time world champion. In Gill's first two weeks there, he endured nine grueling sessions on the mat, nine weight-room workouts and 21 physiotherapy sessions. At the 2000 Games in the 100-kg gold-medal bout, Inoue defeated Gill with a sudden flip. "It was an even match, and the next thing I know, I was on my back," Gill says. "That's judo." Mindful that he doesn't have a good leg to stand on, Gill has modified his technique to keep knee strain to a minimum. And he'll put his best foot forward when he marches as Canada's flag bearer in the opening ceremonies. --By Mary Jollimore
Jollimore, Mary. "Nicolas Gill: JUDO." Time Canada 9 Aug. 2004: 54. Academic OneFile. Web. 10 Dec. 2009.
Gale Document Number:A122542653
United States Judo Association - USJA
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